Valaretha Brown (also known as Val) is Cloudera’s Sr. Partner Marketing Manager leading the strategy behind the go-to-market plans with our Independent Software Vendors.
When she was young, she was always curious about corporate America. “My immediate family members received vocational school certificates and were hard working, blue collar workers.” This, along with her first job in fast food, helped her realize, “using my mind more than my hands to earn a living was right up my alley.”
Now she brings her strategic and innovative mind to partner marketing strategies for Cloudera.
Val’s work at Cloudera doesn’t end with Partner Marketing.
For her, it’s been all too common to be the only minority at her job. “This was true with my very first corporate job, and as I think over my career, not much has changed.” Today, she feels fortunate to be a part of a diverse team but she’d like to see more representation. “Seeing more Black employees in tech and Cloudera would make me feel more connected and have a higher sense of belonging. I would feel like it is the norm, not the exception.”
Last year she became one of the first members of Cloudera’s Equality Committee. Her time working within this committee has allowed her to see, first hand, how the company is focused and dedicated to leveling the playing field for Black employees. “To create an Equality Committee and a full-blown DE&I team, endorsed by Rob Bearden, speaks to the level of sincerity to make things right for Blacks.”
This work is important to her.
As she shared, “Inequality for Blacks is REAL.”
Referencing the Covid death rate for Blacks being twice as high as any other racial group along with the systemic racism issues our country is reckoning with – the state of the Black community in America is disheartening. “These are just two recent in-your-face occurrences highlighting the ongoing inequality of Blacks. The more folks that accept that this inequality is real and have a heart to eradicate it, the faster we can move to having equality for all.”
The recent events have added additional stress on Val and the community at large.
“I have an increased level of mental exhaustion from the disappointment and hurt.” While this is a sentiment shared by many, she also notes that the work she and Cloudera is doing encourages her. “Cloudera is proactively working to “be the change” – to do their part to address injustices.”
She’s had the opportunity to participate in panel discussions around women in tech and Imposter Syndrome hosted by Cloudera among other work being done behind the scenes. For her these are examples of “another step in the right direction.”
Outside of Cloudera, Val has a passion for giving back.
Partnering closely with the Boys & Girls Club and a local high school, Val helps level the playing field for inner city youth. “They come from underserved communities and have limited exposure to corporate America.” She spends much of her free time teaching professionalism, branding, communication, interviewing, and marketing skills. “It is important that inner city youth have access to and see folks who look like them to know what is possible.”
She’s proud to share that the Equality Committee has also partnered with Boys and Girls Club of Middle Tennessee as a financial donor in support of Club NEXT – a digital program teaching youth about STEM, Finance, Marketing, and other relevant development opportunities. “To work for a company that is compassionate about supporting the next generation is simply amazing!”
While she knows the work we have left to do on these fronts is far from complete, she’s happy with the progress we’re making. “We have a way to go, but I think we are on the right path.”
Val loves to live life to the fullest.
On top of the work she does with our partners and the incredible progress she’s helping achieve in and out of Cloudera, she is also an LA Lakers superfan, fitness dabbler, certified personal stylist and the best auntie ever. She stays grounded by living her life in accordance with her personal principles – the “Five F’s”. Faith, Family, Finance, Fitness, and Fun.
Cloudera is thankful for the work Valaretha does in and out of the organization and the opportunities she brings to give back.